Saturday, 29 May 2021

A flurry of activity

 A flurry of activity

May 2021

There is nothing like getting out on the water to inspire a blog post or two - in fact their immediacy makes a refreshing change from the Canal Hunter Vlog which is, by any standard, a slow process.

In the absence of larger canal-side gatherings during the early summer, we are out and about travelling from village to village and doing a spot of towpath trading. We move maybe 10 miles a week and playing tag with the car and bike - not quite canal life as we usually live it, but its great to be afloat again.


After joining the BCN Campaign Cruise to Walsall we emerged from the urban canals and are making a slow journey round to Coventry Basin where, we hope, there will be a City of Culture event at the end of June. Currently we have made it to Great Haywood and we will be staying here for the bank holiday weekend.

We have become quite familiar to the slower nature of towpath trading these last 12 months but the upside is that there is no full on rush to erect the stall, and instead its just a case of hanging the display boards out, assembling the bell - and waiting.

But those of you that know me will testify, I am not very good at sitting still. Especially so when there are jobs to be done around the boats. 

Before we even set off I made is most of the way through a long list of winter repair tasks which included repainting the bows of both boats, resealing one of the leaking portholes, repainting the shower room and the rather unpleasant task of painting the engine bay with bilge paint. I did plan to repaint the water tank but as any of you that have tackled this task will appreciate, it wans't hard to convince myself that it could "do another season".


However, its impossible to predict all those running snags which emerge, like the non functioning horn at our first blind junction (not that that matters a lot on the northern BCN!). This I could live with, but the sudden failure of our 15 year old Sterling Inverter meant no laptops - and that was rather restrictive. So, as we had the car with us, we made a detour to Willington and purchased a new 800W Victron Inverter (the blue one)  and a new horn.

I am always a little nervous about buying replacement electronics for fear that they are actually ok and its the power circuit which has failed, and I am slowly coming to the realisation that a multi meter would be a good idea, even though I don't really know how to use one... That said, I had a visual inspection of the wiring and the fuses and all seemed ok so I wired in the new units and was rewarded with a steady stream of 240 volts from one and a loud "baaaaarp" from the other, so all ended well.



But that still left me at a loose end at Great Haywood so I pitched headlong into a couple of long standing rust issues, the first being the front roof vent which is both rusting and leaking and the second being the base of what was the diesel tank in the very back of the butty. The residue of diesel has protected it for a few years but some winters of stagnant water was taking its toll, so both were prepped and then attacked with a liberal coat of Fertan.

Oh, then there was the small gas leak to track down which was both potentially serious but actually very easy to remedy.

So after all that activity a blog post and a cup of coffee seemed in order.

Monday, 1 February 2021

BCN Cottages - New and Old Main Lines

BCN Cottages - New and Old Main Lines

 BCN Cottages 23 and 24

 Still standing at Rough Hills Stop, south of Wolverhampton

1970's photo by Hugh Potter

No 28 at Rotton Park

Probably at Rotton Park


Sunday, 31 January 2021

BCN Cottages - Wyrley and Essington Canal

BCN Cottages - Wyrley and Essington Canal 

Ogley Locks Section (Lichfield Canal)

Known cottage locations






Cottage 267
No known photo but shown on map at Lock 23:














BCN Cottage 30

Located at Huddlesford


Photos by Arthur Watts from the CRT archive

BCN Cottage 269

Contemporary photo located at Muckley Corner on the A5



BCN Cottages 271 and 272 (the highest numbers)

Located at the top of the Ogley Locks



Now owned by the LHCRT in preparation for the restoration of the canal.


BCN Cottage 204

Sneyd Junction


Ice breaker at Sneyd with 204 on top left

BCN Cottage 210

Located at Coalpool


Photo by Hugh Potter 1971


BCN Cottage 265

Located next toLock 24 on the Ogley Locks section.


Photo by Hugh Potter



BCN Cottages - Birmingham and Fazeley

 BCN Cottages on the Birmingham and Fazeley Canal


Cottages on Fleet Street, Farmers Bridge (numbers unknown)

Otherwise known as "Envelope Cottage"as it was used to store stationery

Photo by Hugh Potter






Cottage 251

Located at Curdworth Top Lock

Photo by Hugh Potter in 1973

Cottages 252 and 253

Located at the top of the Curdworth Flight


Photo by Brian Holmes


Photo by Hugh Potter

Cottage 254

Located at Dunton on the Curdworth Flight

Photo by Hugh Potter 1971


Photo by Hugh Potter December 1976

Cottages 255 and 256

Located on the Curdworth Flight


Photo by Hugh Potter July 1971

Cottages 257 and 258

Located at the bottom end of the Curdworth flight

Photo by Hugh Potter July 1971

Cottages 259 and 260 

Located at the bottom of the Curdworth flight of locks

Photo by Hugh Potter December 1975

             Photo by Hugh Potter December 1975


Cottages on the A5 Fazeley (numbers not known)

Photo by Hugh Potter 1975

Junction House, Fazeley

Photo by Hugh Potter